A Dark and Deadly Deceptionby Eleanor Taylor Bland
Chicago detective Marti MacAlister has her work cut out for her these days. First, during the filming of a big Hollywood movie on location in Lincoln Prairie, the body of one of the film's stars turns up dead, along the shores of the Des Plaines River. Then, the skeletal remains of another gunshot victim turn up in a hundred year old building that is being
Chicago detective Marti MacAlister has her work cut out for her these days. First, during the filming of a big Hollywood movie on location in Lincoln Prairie, the body of one of the film's stars turns up dead, along the shores of the Des Plaines River. Then, the skeletal remains of another gunshot victim turn up in a hundred year old building that is being renovated. The closer Marti comes to piecing the clues of each case, the closer they come to understanding how the two cases are connected. But the longer it takes, the more dangerous the killer becomes.
This next book in Eleanor Taylor Bland's acclaimed series is a captivating story that will engage both fans and new readers with its suspense and wit.
Read an Excerpt
Friday, March 19---Lincoln Prairie
A loud snap awakened him. Wood scraped against brick. Another branch from the elms planted close to the house must have broken. Thomas Newsome pushed the heavy blanket aside and, mindful of the stiffness in his hips and knees, pushed himself up from the armchair. Leaning on his cane, he shuffled to the window and pulled back the heavy velvet curtain. The wind had picked up. Snow, large flakes falling thick and fast, whipped past the leaded glass, moving horizontally. Winter, the stripping away of things past, a time for the seed to lie fallow within the frozen earth: his favorite time of year. Like the animals that slept through blizzards, and cold, and rivers dammed with ice, he, too, chose to hibernate, staying inside with a fire in the hearth but wakeful---watching and waiting, for what he didn't know.
Loath to turn away from the storm that raged outside, he stood there until the cold from bare glass and the chill from a draft began to permeate his bones, stiffening his joints, making his back ache. He sighed. Today was his birthday. He was seventy-nine years old. Perhaps there wouldn't be many more winters. Perhaps soon, he would lie beneath the snow awaiting resurrection. He turned from the window and went to a tall, narrow cupboard. He touched the dark wood, older than he was, and scarred. The veins on the back of his hands stood out like cords. He rubbed the knots in the wood with fingers that had never known a callus.
There were no tremors in his hand now. Was it the medication? Or . . . the Theotokos---Mother, Madonna, Birth-Giver of God. He opened the cabinet, looked at the icon placed at eye level.
The icon was small, five inches by eight. A border of blue-and-red paint that might once have been bright was now dull and scarred. Bare wood was exposed where the paint had chipped or peeled. He thought the light surrounding the Madonna's face and head must have been gold. Now it was a mottled brown-green. Her face was the color of old parchment. Her dress made him think of a brown wool coat he had worn as a boy.
"Mama . . . (Romanian here)" he whispered. It was one of the few Romanian words he knew. "Mother."
She was a tormented mother, looking toward some distant place far beyond his line of vision. There was no Christ child in her arms to love, no crucified Christ to mourn. She leaned forward, lap empty, arms empty. Her hand palms up, a silent plea or a mother's prayer? The anguish in her eyes was too deep for him to fathom or to even begin to understand. "What do you see, Mama? (Romanian.)" Again he asked that question, again the answer came, "I see forever."
Copyright © 2005 by Eleanor Taylor Bland
Meet the Author
Eleanor Taylor Bland is the author of twelve previous Marti MacAlister mysteries. She lives in Waukegan, Illinois.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The book starts out promising and then it stalls and stays there until the end. Half way through I called this novel 'well crafted' but towards the end I called it contrived. The SL drags and the book goes no where. I found it rather boring and predictable. There were no surprise twists or turns, this is a mystery? Where there was potential the author fell short. Some of the character's were interesting although somewhat forgettable. I might read some of her previous work, this one just didn't make the grade for me.